2008 AUSTRALIAN OPEN
ROGER FEDERER v JAMES BLAKE
7-5 7-6 6-4
Champion Roger Federer took his place in the Australian Open semi-finals after fending off the challenge of American James Blake 7-5 7-6 6-4 on Wednesday.
The Swiss top seed never needed to hit top gear but was still too strong for the 12th seed as he ran out a convincing winner to reach his 15th grand slam semi-final in a row.
The two players exchanged early breaks in the first two sets. With a tiebreaker looming in the first, Federer set up a break point as Blake served at 5-6 with a forehand volley winner,
and Blake then sent a forehand long on the next point.
The pattern was similar in the second set. Blake saved two set points while serving at 4-5 and three more after falling behind 6-2 in the tiebreaker.
But there are only so many escapes possible against Federer, who finally cashed his sixth set point on a service Blake couldn't get back.
Federer was cruising at 5-1 in the third set when Blake, refusing to yield, ran off three straight games.
Blake had his chances against Federer in each set, but as usual, Roger always seems to hit the amazing passing shot when it counts the most.
Roger hit an amazing cross court running forehand and also used his short slice to force the error from Blake to continue his quest for the '08 Australian championship.
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